The Wedding Beauty Routine You Need to Start 12 Months Before the Big Day

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The wedding countdown is on, which means it’s time to whip your beauty routine into shape. Whether you’re newly engaged or have around 12 months to go, we devised a wedding beauty timeline to help you check a few more things off your to-do list.

We know how busy a bride’s year leading up to the big day can be, so by getting a few of these beauty to-dos out of the way, you can rest assured that your skin, hair, and makeup will be nothing short of flawless for your walk down the aisle.

1. Prioritize

First things first: It’s time to brainstorm your beauty priorities. While getting organized with a wedding beauty timeline is great, every list varies from bride to bride. Keep factors such as budget and specific concerns in mind. If toned arms and legs are your priority, then you might be inclined to splurge on a personal trainer for a few months. If skincare is a bigger concern, then you might want to allocate some cash for regular facials.

2. Make a realistic health plan and stick to it.

Whether you want to tone up for that strapless dress or just get in the habit of eating healthier, setting realistic goals will make your end game achievable. “Make sure you create a realistic schedule that is easy to stick to,” says Anna Kaiser, founder of AKT in Motion. “It’s about building a routine and being able to sustain healthy habits for the long term.” If your motto is go hard or go home from the get-go, Kaiser says you’re more likely to burn out within a month and less likely to stick to your health goals. “Schedule your workouts in advance and make them a mandatory part of your day,” she adds. “Show up, just like you would if you committed to a beauty or doctor appointment.”

3. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.

Even if you don’t have serious skincare woes, it’s always a good idea to schedule an annual skin check with your dermatologist. Book an appointment to discuss a skincare regimen that fits your needs, or schedule a follow-up visit if you’re looking to try prescription treatments—like retinoids for acne or Rhofade for rosacea. Either way, make the appointment sooner rather than later to address everything from what cleanser to use to how to fade dark spots with your doc.

4. Get regular manicures.

Consider that sparkly engagement ring the perfect excuse to pamper yourself with a manicure—or several! Whether you go to the salon or DIY it, swiping on a new nail polish doesn’t just look good, it’s the perfect method for choosing which shade you’ll pair with your gown on your wedding day. It’s all about trial and error—even when it comes to your fingertips.

5. Invest in your makeup arsenal.

No wedding beauty timeline is complete without a makeup bag overhaul. With a solid 12 months of photo-taking and selfie-snapping with your fiancé ahead of you, take this time to splurge on a nice foundation and a great mascara. Hit Sephora and grab a bunch of samples to find the formulas that work for your skin type and are guaranteed to make it through the ceremony (and all those happy tears) on the big day.

6. Visit your hairstylist.

While there’s still time to decide on a wedding-day hairstyle, let your stylist know what your goals are and have them strategize a game plan to help get you there. Whether that means growing your hair out, trading in your trendy pastel hue for your original color, or transitioning your hair back to its natural state, let your trusty stylist know so that when the three-month mark rolls around, you’re not totally freaking out.

7. Start the laser treatments.

It takes more than one session to get the best results, whether you’re getting zapped with laser hair removal or laser facial treatments, so starting early is key. If you’re in the market for laser hair removal, remember that it takes about six to seven sessions, usually six weeks apart, to totally clear an area of unwanted hair. For skincare, NYC dermatologist Ellen Marmur suggests Clear + Brilliant laser treatments every three months to address everything from acne to dark spots. This laser is a favorite because of its minimal downtime (she says you’ll be pink for about a day) and powerful results. “It’s the right combination of quick, safe, easy, and effective,” she says.

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